From minimalism to essentialism. 

Then to growth mindset and to abundance mindset. 

I was an abundant year.

June Tybee Island Triathon   (sprint)

June Leadville100 training camp
July Peachtree 10K Atlanta
August Leadville 100 – DNF
September:  100 miles run  – Wildcat Ultra;   Wildcat100s
June Tybee Island Triathlon (sprint) .
June Leadville100 training camp
July Peachtree 10K Atlanta
August Leadville 100 – DNF
November – IMFL2017   –
By the end of this massive action-packed year I looked back and saw –  so. much. life.  I browsed through pictures. Every day or every couple of days was – so. bright. Glowing with love to life and that bright life shared with my dear ones.
From the planning out the year, to the ideas of attempting to do all those powerful and empowering endurance events I got to the place of gratefulness for every moment of going all-out. Of living it up.  Doing Hard Things Voluntarily .  And that itself enhanced my journey to the point of living more then I ever lived before.
I was living a minimalist life for several years already.
2018: In January this year I set a focus for myself to learn more about Essentialist ways , having read “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”  by Greg McKeown
In a surprising way that brought me to the essence of the concept of Abundance.  I am in awe how much more life there is out there to experience.
All of the endurance events this year brought me to the place of peace in assurance of this immense power I can tap into at any moment. All the long solo miles out there taught  me to lean onto this power  at any moment I need it. It helped me to tap into the idea of abundance of life overall in every aspect of it – love, work, practical side  – so. much. more.
Then I got to know that all of this is actually that Abundance Mindset is a whole concept!
So there is this “Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset concept.
“The abundance mindset flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is a paradigm that is grounded in the belief that ‘there is more than enough’ for everyone. Alternatively, a scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough, resulting in feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety.” 
That abundance mindset is pretty much triggered every time you open your eyes in morning with feeling of gratefulness. I can pinpoint the times when I fell to scarcity mindset loop now and working on it every time – there is so much more to learn about it!
Check out both of them, sign up for some crazy event that you think is impossibly hard for you, grow, learn and share all these adventures on!
at Wildcat Ultra – 2.5 mile loop at Pensacola Equestrian Center  40 times make 100 miles!


1 Half-Ironman 70.3 distance in 6 hours in January

50 miler in Destin on sand 11 hours – February

54 miles on 1 mile loop Ft Benning in 12 hours   – March

62 miles in Tuscany, Italy, in 18 hours – April

back2backs – 26mile – 20 miles in Leadville training camp, Colorado  – June

Leadville, Colorado – 50 miles in 15 hours – DNF – August

IMCHOO – Ironman Chattanooga 144.smth miles of swim-bike-walk – 15,5 hours  – September

IMLOU Ironman Louisville 140.smth miles of tri – 2 weeks later, 14.5 hours – October (signed up on site as a last moment decision)

And all the days in between filled up.

It’s been a big  year packed condensed into just 10 months.


– What motivates you to do all this? – they ask me in office when we get to talk about the distances I do.

– What’s the point? – I get that question sometimes as well . I used to think it’s a statement more of a question. Now I know my answer, so it’s easy to answer it as well/

– It’s crazy, why bother if you are not winning  the 1st place? (getting faster / doing only PRs – you name it)   – I get this as well.

– It’s amazing how you do all this.

– How do you do all this?

When I started running, got my bike, got swimming and discovered a whole world of athletes of all sorts and types , I felt as a baby among those with history of endless races of all sorts of distances    I saw the way all these dreamers and doers imprint of their personality into the history of a place they live at .

I test limits   during all those hours and hours and hours on trails, in the pool, on my bike. I get them redefined for myself. I grow.

It’s mental – assorting knowledge, learning, remembering, using my knowledge for better performance. It’s being sure and positive and calm in any given situation.

It’s practical – by getting that strong I get so much energy to perform  better at anything I get to do.

It’s spiritual – it takes faith.

It’s letting go and jumping head first sometimes. It’s loving the world and people I get to meet.

–          What motivates you to do all this?

–          Life does – I say. –  I love my life.  I love living breathing it all – the water, the air, the earth beneath me and everything around. Being able to experience this all – that’s what motivates me. Curiosity about what ELSE is out there if I can do THIS?

Life driven by curiosity, not just by practical calculations or logical conclusions.

–          Why do you do all this?

To experience life with those folks that might be as crazy as I am. To share life. To love. Right where I am and around where I landed. Changing the world around me with my tribe. Not searching for an allegedly better place.

I am already in my “better place”.

It’s been what looks like the happiest and most fulfilling year in my life.

–          Let this race be your celebration of an amazing year! – my coach said before I went to IMCHOO-2016.

And celebration it was. A year packed with moments of a bright happy life.  Wind in my hair, sweat and soreness. Water on my face , pressed upon my hands. Laughs and memories created together with my tribe.



Doing ultra: that awkward moment when you feel that among the tribe of triathlete ladies you are still different.

Rachell Wall posted a text copied below “I don’t want to look pretty, I want to live in a world where it’s irrelevant”

I got lost in the lists of hundreds of “Amens”.

I was taken for my looks for so many years with “You look …. ” (“pretty”, “great”, ” beautiful”, “gorgeous”, “tied”, ” are you OK? )  by people that for reasons of language or cultural barrier could not connect with who I actually am, that I’m coming from another side.

I know my body sometimes looks from externally as what people see from outside as their version of what they call pretty. And the way people perceive my looks from outside while not seeing the way I am as a person for different reasons, became so irrelevant to me so long ago that learned to balance the habit of keeping looks the way I , not society around me, wanted to look like, chose to look like, along with “training looks”.

There was time I looked goth, I colored my hair blue, fire-red or charcoal-black years before it became fashionable among teenagers, I wore Russian high hills and short skirts, Indian sprees and salwar-kameezes. Office attire and beach – bum shorts. I finally was happy to find the tribe of athletes ladies that don’t care about looks.

Turns out they actually do and that there is an underestimated importance of an internal cry those ladies carry unspoken so much that it’s time to heal this up.

Among the list of ” Amen-sista”-s I have missed seeing the simple acceptance of power of natural female beauty: the powerful Devine feminine beauty.

I do enjoy giving way to the inner feminine to shine through the looks even during races. I love wearing make-up and pretty dresses for races. I love being visible with the “prettied up” looks altogether after running another back-to-back marathon or swimming for half a day with goggles marks branded into my face.

After miles and miles and multiple hours and hours of dancing in the woods on trails I love getting back to civilization and prettying myself up. I love living up the feminine part of my human experience as much as I love living up the rest of my life.

“What you look like is so far down on the list of things that actually do really matter that you barely even remember it.”

What I look like is part of my strategy of not going mad playing with my wild side for days on trails. When you tap into that wild side for long enough, what you look like keeps reminding you that you are not just an animal in the woods – you are human and you are a girl – human.

It’s somewhat between feeling like a homeless man on streets of a big city looking for a mirror and soap to prove to himself that he still exists as a human. And feeling being seen only for the color of hair and light skin being from Russia.

It’s not un-important, I think. I do think that it’s that part of human experience that does also matter.

It’s also my way to proclaiming to the world that the Devine feminine is beautiful, pretty together with that strength. Moreover: by using the “inner goddess” strength I get to experience all the ultra-adventures with even brighter experience.

The trail is She as I ask Mother Nature to share it’s power after hours out there, and I get it. The ocean is Earth’s breath rocking me as I merge with it, not deny it.

I don’t want to exclude this feminine part of me or set it “down the list”.

I know that if girls would try to exclude or suppress the feminine from their world, and essentially the world around them, trying to be ” just fellow human” – that would be a tremendous loss to this world. And would harm women more then bring good.

I think this world needs these outstanding strong ladies leading this world to shape it up with the new “upgraded” definition of feminine beauty without denial of it.

I also think that the most important point here to communicate to the world is – freedom. That all these strong outstanding ladies are entitled to choose to look whatever they decide to choose to look like. And by denying one part of these looks we might deny this freedom as well.



“Run happy. Run free”


Below is the post by Rachell Wall.
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– Yes, but why are you doing this? I don’t even bike that far!

I told my random riding partner at the Tony Serrano century ride that I did 52 miles in Destin in February and 54 miles a few weeks ago in Fort Benning in March. That lead up to my upcoming 62 miles run in Tuscany, Italy in April. All in preparation for the biggest dream to come true – 100 mile run in Leadville, CO in August.

Last weekend my best friend was standing at the start line of 24 miles swim. 24 miles swim

And that was a reaction (the “why???”) of a random stranger that was not even that far culturally – at least we were about over mile 30 of the bike ride! I know that a few years ago  I shuffled through my first 5K, I barely could imagine what long distance running is. I know for people who don’t get themselves involved in any sort of exercise this lifestyle looks sort of insane or far out there.

I see it as a mere sort of another normal human lifestyle. Natural. Normal. Something anybody is capable of given proper time, opportunity, support, effort and motivation. I think humans are capable of much more, and not just some of outstanding representatives of human race, but each and every one of us.

For one simple reason: this rising up over and pushing though what seemed impossible before is what every one can do at many different levels. It just so happened that I found my distance and my way of “redefining possible” through the triathlon and long distance sport and the lifestyle it comes with.

Last year Destin 50 miler run was a tough one for me mentally . This year – it was so much easier physically, and the run was more of a self-realization.  There was a moment when I got to that point when I felt: ok, this IS the maximum effort. That it was not possible to go on. Yet it was possible.

Now I know it is possible for me to get to the next level of running.

A year ago the trip to Italy to run a 100K race seemed impossible. I registered for the race in September 2015. This year – the way this trip to Italy for the race got arranged as if the little pieces in a way pieces of mosaics fall together.  The way the training was – it seemed to me that I never ran this much in my life. That it is not possible to run this much.That it is not possible to arrange the training in proper balance considering my work and personal life. That it is not possible to arrange the trip to Italy.

Yet it is happening. I am here, in Italy, in hopes that tomorrow run goes well enough.

Here: the real example of manifestation of the dream I got some time ago.

So why do we do all this?

To see the impossible becoming possible – is one of my answers. To live this life up and share it on. There are many answers. And I do hope there is something good to be manifesting out of these answers further down the road.



What did you use the 0.1 of year 2016 for already?

My January started with the Half-Ironman in Naples, FL. PR for this distance for me, and a great start of the year. Oh, and all those Kennesaw Mountain trails and Polar Bear Plunge on Jan 1st with fellow crazies/ triathletes.

IMLOU-2015 defined the “word of the year” for me – Purposeful .

I wanted to direct my activities in 2016 towards particular purposes. I planned my goals over the upcoming 90 days and the year for work and tri training and personal goals. (with guidance from Life Coach School podcast #86 – Do Goals )

On 7th January I got to know about my actual, real, no kidding, big goal for 2016 – Leadville 100 miles run  .


Read on –

  • How did Leadville Registration happen and – “now what?”
  • 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 – timeline vs. ” words of the years” GRAVTATION, EXPLOSION, RADIANCE, VITALITY
  • What’s – NEW?

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Those shivers you get when you you know your wish upon a star is coming true?

Right. Now.  That gratitude –  for a Miracle abound.

The humbled readiness to receive the gift you did not expect but wished for.

I’ve started 2015 wraping up my wishes into 1 word: VITALITY
And – oh, it was the year of LIFE! My 2015 was more saturated with LIFE , in spirit, in every day, in practical way, work, triathlon – then I’ve ever felt through years lived through before.

I started “naming” my years since 2012, and here’s how it worked.
I did not intend it to be following any pattern, but a friend of mine, a physicist,
compared the pattern with the one of a star lifecycle. I liked that!

2012: the year of “GRAVTATION”: I’ve summoned up my skills, pulled inwards,
closed up, reviewed my strengths, gathered up evidence of what I can do well enough.

2013: – the year of “EXPLOSION” – I used my summoned power for expanding the ranges of my activities,
I rocked at Half-Ironman triathlons, ran alot, and shaped up my team at work.
The explosion did leave some “lack holes” behind though!

2014 was bound to be the “RADIANCE” year.
Words are not enough to describe the power of the Light I felt through the year.
I was blessed and blessed and blessed with the ultimate happiness and feeling acute-alive.

avatarakali 2015, January .

By the end of 2015 I’m just gaining the momentum carrying me through to 2016.


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Purposeful. IMLOU-2015 Race Report

The mosaics tiles of my Ironman journey 2015 got set into a distinguishable pattern. IMLOU-2015 was – easy.

As much as one can call swimming, biking and running through a combined distance of 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike and 26 miles run – easy: yes, it was – easy. It was the first time I felt, at once, – that strong, sure, free, happy, calm, mindful through all the 14  hours of my 3d Ironman event. It was the reflection of my first year of learning and growth, guided by knowledge of my coach Haley.

– Be purposeful, – that was Haley’s advice regarding some points at the race. I take it to the next level: all my Ironman Louisville race was purposeful. As in – filling in or matching the purpose set for the race in advance. A year ago, after IMCHOO and IMFL I wanted to take my next Ironman event to the next level of Quality.

So it was – my 2015 year with

it was a good year of purposeful development towards my goal of getting to be the better version of myself triathlon-wise – better swimmer, being better on bike. So it was a really good race. I finished the race still “with full tank”, ready to keep on going on, recovered fast and eager to get going for 2016 plans already carefully scaled for the next year starting with right now.

I had my share of beating myself up for not going faster on the run and not “giving it all out”. But made my peace with it after talking with more experienced triathlete friends giving me different perspectives. Summing it up I’d say – if my health is great,, if I am feeling very positive and eager to keep on having fun swimming, biking and running, and my professional and personal lives are right where I want them to be regardless Ironman – I’d say it was a good year of training and it was a good race!


Back to the race:

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“It’s not pressure – this is an opportunity.”

Haley , via  Wave of Enthusiasm  article 

“You would not be given the desire if you didn’t also have the ability to make it come true”

Life Coaching School podcast

A year ago I was planning my 2016. Thinking: ” I have no idea how to make my desires for self-growth turn into reality”. I did not have time to learn all the details about how to tri better – it’s not my profession, I have my work and professional interests I needed my time for. I got to the point when in order to excel I need to find somebody to learn from. I needed help and guidance in my journey from somebody who sees more in me then even I can see.
I read all those articles

“why you need a coach” /

“why you don’t need a coach” /

“why you need to train with a group / triathlon club”.

I checked out prices vs. services all over – offline / local coaches and clubs…
– You will not like it, – said a friend about me getting coached. – cause you would have to quit overtraining and doing that much as you do.

I was a bit doubting my intention to find a coach: who would want to train an ultra-runner having a wish to do long distance swims while preparing for an Ironman?
I talked to many people. I talked to several coaches of different level in terms of the way my schedule would look like, or the way my training year would look like… As much as I liked some of the coaches I talked with, nothing “clicked”.
A friend mentioned Haley Chura.
I saw Haley couple of times at the Dynamo pool.  She looked like a teenager. Her eyes were the eyes of a fighter with centuries of experience. Her energy was beaming like a star. She is a star: a pro, a winner. I never could even grasp that level of professionalism in triathlon.
I taken a gasp of air and sent her my questions.

– I want to get better on bike
– I want to keep long distance events as part of 2015: Destin 50 miler in Feb 12 miler swim Key West June 4th, IMLOU

All the coaches except http://www.zentriathlon.com/ did not really embrace the idea of the 12 miles Swim Around Key West and long distance running combined with Ironman training.
Haley was – all enthusiasm.

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Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of
adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress
— such as family and relationship problems,
serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.
It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.

Ironman training is often associated with  series of long workouts, becoming masters of time management and sacrifices. I was always looking beyond that. Setting m eyes on the side effect of managing it all: a skill , a must have feature of character for Ironman – Resilience. I always bounce back fast.  I recover well from physical aspects of training. But the most important part of the recovery for me is mental. An ability to bounce back from almost anything fast and come back swinging.The enso circle with Ironman symbol is imprinted on my arm as a tattoo – a symbol of my ongoing journeys. It’s an anchor – it helps taking my mind to that point of optimism no matter what I am dealing with.  I always knew I can handle anything and bounce back from any experiences fast, the tattoo is a reminder of that

As I keep on these journeys I get to know I am not the only one interested in question of optimism. I’ve just started discovering a whole field of study of connection between optimism and success. Books, articles, people who think alike and exhibit the same optimistic resilience through their lives – started beaming on me all over.



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